FFXIV Dark Knight Leveling Guide

Level up your Dark Knight (DRK) ASAP! Setting up – Early Rotations – Gear Checks and more!

If you’ve found yourself here, you’re likely leveling up a Dark Knight. You’ve found the right place. Hopefully, our Dark Knight Leveling Guide helps you out – especially with setting up and the early L30+ rotation!

Dark Knight Leveling Guide Navigation:
Page 1: Unlocking, L30 Skills & Rotation, L30 Gear, Class Quest List
Page 2: Leveling DRK 30 to 50 (Basic info for now)
Page 3: Leveling DRK 50 to 60 (Basic info for now)
Page 4: Leveling DRK 60 to 70 (Basic info for now)

For those who jumped right into this page, we will add a little blurb about unlocking Dark Knight, if you haven’t already.

Unlocking Dark Knight (DRK) Job

Quest Name: Our End
Quest Location: The Pillars (X:13, Y:9)
NPC Name: Ishgardian Citizen

You will be rewarded with the Soul of the Dark Knight, your main hand weapon (Steel Claymore), and a free coffer of 30 left side gear (Steel Cuirass and Padded Velveteen Trousers). Equip them as soon you have them!

Since Dark Knight starts at level 30 (although unlocked if you have a level 50 character), there are a few things you have to “catch up to”… Namely, your Skills, Rotation, and to a lesser extent, Gear.

Fresh Level 30 Dark Knight Rotation & Skills

Thankfully, there aren’t too many skills unlocked by L30 so you won’t be overwhelmed.

DRK Rotation Summary

The DRK rotation is all about mana management. While it doesn’t fully show yet at this low level, traces of it are seen.

Grit is your tank stance, which reduces damage and increases enmity.
Darkside is a substance that STOP MANA REGEN but increases damage.
Blood Weapon converts damage to MP, but cannot be used with Grit.

It’s useless to go into detail this early at L30, but at least the above gives you an idea of the “shuffling” and “tradeoffs” of the various DRK “stances”.
In the next tabs, we will mention ALL AVAILABLE SKILLS and the context wherein they’re used.

L30 DRK Tanking Basics

This should be your basic flowchart when inside dungeons.

Do I need Grit (L30) ? (Probably yes)
Is Darkside (L30) on? (It probably should be)
Unmend (L15) Ranged pulling skill (Optional)
Unleash (L6) x2: AoE Bonus Enmity
– (More experienced tanks can ditch one or both of these Unleashes)

Single Target rotation on one enemy

Hard Slash (L1)
Spinning Slash (L4): Bonus Enmity.
Power Slash (L26): Bonus Enmity.
You can do this once per enemy in the pack.

After the enemy group is “near death” and the risk to you is lower, start asking yourself these questions:

  • I should have full or near full mana by the next enemy group…
  • Can I SAFELY off Grit (L30)?
  • Should I use Hard Slash (L1) > Syphon Strike (L10) to regain mana?
  • Can/should I save Blood Weapon (L18) for the next pile?

After the enemies die, make sure to OFF Darkside to regain any lacking mana before the next pull.

L30 DRK Single Target Rotation
L30 DRK Basic Single Target Rotation

It feels a bit strange discussing a single target rotation in the context of a tank (I guess for soloing and “last enemies in a pack”). It seems redundant after the above tab but here it is.

  • Can I SAFELY off Grit (L30)?
  • Is Darkside (L30) on? Can I Darkside?
  • Is Blood Weapon (L18) available? Can I maximize the mana gained?

Hard Slash (L1)
Spinning Slash (L4): Bonus Enmity.
Power Slash (L26): Bonus Enmity.

I desperately need mana!

Is Blood Weapon (L18) available?
Hard Slash (L1)
Syphon Strike (L10) Regains mana on hit!

L30 DRK Basic AoE Rotation
L30 DRK Basic AoE Rotation

It’s pretty bad. You cannot contribute any meaningful AoE damage this early on.

4 Enemies or less: Use single target rotation on one of them.

5 or more: Unleash (L6) spam.

Sadly, even FOUR targets isn’t enough for Unleash to outrun your single target rotation.

L30 DRK Misc (Cooldowns, Utility)
L30 DRK Misc skills (Cooldowns, Utility)

Grit (L30): Tank stance which increases toughness and enmity produced.

Darkside (L30): Increases damage but SHUTS OFF mana regen.

Blood Weapon (L18): CANNOT BE USED WITH GRIT. Increases damage, converts damage to MP, reduces TP cost of skills and increases “skill speed”. Quite a huge buff, which you should maximize each time it’s up.

Unmend (L15): Ranged pulling skill.

Unleash (L6): AoE enmity generating skill with weak damage.

L30 DRK Role Actions
L30 DRK Role Actions

Long story short, for general use:
Provoke > Low Blow > Rampart > Any

For more detailed info, check our Tank Role Actions Guide.


Fresh level 30 Dark Knight: Gear Check

The free gear you get from completing the Dark Knight quest is, ultimately, lacking. You only get a chest and leg armor, while lacking Helm, Belt, Gloves, Boots - and the entire 5 right-side accessories. If you plan to maximize your options in leveling - you wanna shore this up ASAP.

Ignore this section if you’re one of those pure PotD types.


  • Sunstone Tier + MELDING VITALITY I, OR
  • Sphene Tier + MELDING STRENGTH I.

Personally, I prefer Sunstone, with or without VIT I melded.

L30 DRK Basic of the Basic gear
Slot Item Note
Weapon Steel Claymore Free from coffer
Head HQ Steel Celata Marketboard / ARM
Body Steel Cuirass Free from coffer
Hands HQ Steel Gauntlet Marketboard / ARM
Belt HQ Steel Plate Belt Marketboard / ARM
Legs Padded Velveteen Trousers Free from coffer
Boots HQ Steel Sabatons Marketboard / ARM
Earring HQ Sunstone Earrings Marketboard / GSM
Neck HQ Sunstone Choker Marketboard / GSM
Wrist HQ Sunstone Bracelet Marketboard / GSM
Ring HQ Sunstone Ring Marketboard / GSM
Ring HQ Sunstone Ring Marketboard / GSM

Dark Knight Class Quests: Where!?

It happens to everyone, don't worry. We will be listing the relevant chunks per tier on the respective page of this leveling guide as well, for easy reference.

Dark Knight Job Quests 30 to 50
      X Y
30 Ishgardian Justice Foundation 11 12 Fray
35 The Voice in the Abyss Foundation 11 12 Fray
40 Heroic Reprise Foundation 11 12 Fray
45 Declaration of Blood Foundation 11 12 Fray
50 Our Answer Foundation 11 12 Fray Dark Knight’s Armor Coffer
Dark Knight Job Quests 50 to 60
      X Y  
50 The Wages of Mercy Coerthas C.H. 13 16 Unflinching Temple Knight
52 The Knight and the Maiden Fair Foundation 13 12 Sidurgu
54 Kindred Spirits Foundation 13 12 Sidurgu
56 Original Sins Foundation 13 12 Sidurgu
58 The Flame in the Abyss Foundation 13 12 Sidurgu
60 Absolution Foundation 13 12 Sidurgu Chaos Armor Coffer
Dark Knight Job Quests 60 to 70
      X Y
60 In Memories We Walked Foundation 13 12 Sidurgu
63 The Widow and Her Love Coerthas Western Highlands 32 36 Sidurgu
65 The Orphans and the Broken Blade Dravanian Forelands 32 23 Sidurgu
68 We Can Never Go Home The Churnign Mists 28 35 Myste
70 Our Compromise Foundation 13 12 Sidurgu Abyss Armor Coffer

Dark Knight Leveling Guide Navigation:
Page 1: Unlocking, L30 Skills & Rotation, L30 Gear, Class Quest List
Page 2: Leveling DRK 30 to 50 (Basic info for now)
Page 3: Leveling DRK 50 to 60 (Basic info for now)
Page 4: Leveling DRK 60 to 70 (Basic info for now)

I'm sure you're itching to level up - and I hope you took the above preparations to heart! Just continue onwards with the links just above!

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